As a mom of 3 boys, there is always some action going on.
He won’t play with me.
He’s looking at me.
He hit me.
He lied to me.
He ate my french fry.
And I will be honest, many days the brotherly bickering wears me out. I feel like all I am doing is pulling apart children.
I am a fixer. So, I feel like I have to jump in there, talk everything over with them, make them say, “I’m sorry,” and leave them in peace. However, it rarely works that way. Usually, when I get involved, tempers rise on all sides of the conflict because some child will think, “Oh, Mom’s here. Now I will get my way.” And that rarely happens too.
I know siblings are going to have their moments. Trust me. This coming from a girl who knocked her brother’s tooth out with an Easter basket. But that doesn’t make it any easier.
I want my boys to love and respect one another. I want them to live in harmony. I want them to have a close relationship throughout their entire lives. But I have to teach them the proper way to handle conflict, and my angry reactions will not do that.
I always appreciate the authors’ reminders that these triggers are opportunities, opportunities for us to practice and our children to learn gentle biblical responses. I love the thought of teaching them Romans 12:17:20. At my house, my boys have the motto, “That’s what you get.” Doesn’t have the same love and peacefulness as scripture!
Probably the part that is most challenging is getting one particular child of mine to talk about his feelings. This is NOT a strength of his. He usually allows things to build up until he explodes and then has no idea what is actually bothering him. Or he just pouts. Sometimes those two behaviors are more difficult than the actually brotherly bickering.
I also try to let the natural consequences take place or have them work it out on their own. I don’t want them to think I can fix everything, although I’d like to. I have told my children that we can talk about things, not just brother stuff, and I can guide them, but I can’t fix everything, that they have to learn how to take care of issues on their own sometimes.
As we close this chapter, consider these questions….
- What resonated most with you? What challenged you from this chapter?
- What are some of the things your children fight about the most? If you feel like the way you handle it isn’t working, what can you differently?
- Is there any scripture you can share with us that would help build peace within the home when it comes to sibling rivalry?
- How do you instill family values?